‘m on the Tipton Turn, sitting on the siding at Heiserburg in the God-awful middle of the night. I’ve just pushed two boxcars of ingredients into the brewery there and pulled two boxcars of beer out. With that, I roll my short local forward and walking speed, giving Jimmy on the crummy a chance to realign the turnout and hop back aboard. No rush – according to the timetable we’re supposed to meet a coal train here.
So imagine my surprise when a refrigerated block (not an extra – I’ve got no orders for him) arrives and holds opposite me. I’m looking at my timetable, looking at him, trying to figure out WTF this is all about when light bathes the back of his caboose. Here comes the coal train, rolling hot. The reefer’s flagmen are coming off the crummy like flees off a dying dog, running down the tracks into the brilliant headlight, flinging their red flags about. And me? I’m looking over at my wide-eyed brakeman. “Tom, open the left door. We might need to get out quick…”
But the coal is stopped on time.Turns out upstairs management is trying a new schedule. To add to the fun, they sent out this reefer block before it was supposed to leave. Isn’t it the way of things?
It’s nothing I haven’t seen in operations. The crews are trying to figure this out, but JW (the host) is flipping out like a darted monkey before the drugs take affect. He’s running from one minor problem to the next, yelling, cursing, and generally freaking out.
Yeah, folks, I’ve seen it before. Just last week when I hosted.
That’s the thing of it. When people run on your layout, they might have one little problem in their entire run. In ten trains, that’s ten little problems. Of course, the operators don’t see that but the host does. And while he’s thinking of hanging himself in a shower stall, everyone else goes home smiling after a good session.
It was a great session, JW. Outside of your totally bollucked timetable.
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